RED MEAT AND CANCER- NEW DISCOVERIES
It is well known that red meat contains a lot of noxious substances, such as: saturated fats, bad cholesterol, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemical toxins released from slaughter process, dioxins, sodium nitrites, red dye, Heme Iron, etc, so several voices are blaming red meat and processed meat for causing cancer and premature death.
A 20-year study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that eating any amount of any kind of red meat significantly increases the risk of premature death. The study that examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults over two decades found that the consumption of a little as 3 oz. of unprocessed red meat per day, increased the death rate by 13%. Increased mortality is due to both cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Even if the study is so impressive in the amount of figures and facts, some other researchers contested its results, because it was not a controlled study. Without controls, it means that these people likely ate many other factory-produced foods, which could contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer. One might suspect that the cancer mortality might have been increased by the consumption of this kind of foods and not only because of the red meat.
To clearly prove that red meat is bad for health a new study is now conducted by a group of researchers from Flinders University. Their goal is to prove and prevent the cancer-causing effects of eating red meat. These scientists have already obtain some evidence showing that red meat increases lesions on the DNA of the colon, which, left unrepaired, could lead to mutations, raising the risk of colorectal cancer.
The next step in their research is to find a way to repair the damage the red meat causes. The solution seems to be the delivering of resistant starch directly to the colon where it converts to short chain fatty acids, thereby reversing the damage. They are now trying to find out if eating red meat with resistant starches reduces the number of lesions and therefore the risk of cancer.
Using mouse models that are prone to colon cancer because they lack the genes to repair either the lesions or subsequent mutations, the researchers hope to confirm their theory that DNA lesions increase with red meat and that resistant starch protects against, or reverses, the damage.
Their ultimate aim is to prevent colorectal cancer, the second-most diagnosed cancer in Australia.
Resources and references: